Berkman's bat helps Cardinals stay alive

Berkman's bat helps Cardinals stay alive

Credit: AP

St. Louis Cardinals' Lance Berkman hits a run-scoring single during the 10th inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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by R.B. Fallstrom

The Associated Press

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 12:36 AM

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Lance Berkman batted cleanup in Game 6 of the World Series, moving up one spot and switching spots with slumping Matt Holliday.

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It was a brilliant move by Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.
  
Berkman paid off immediately with a two-run home run in the first inning, then he made the Texas Rangers pay for yet another intentional walk to Albert Pujols with a game-tying RBI single in the 10th inning. That set the stage for David Freese's game-winning homer in the 11th of a wild, resurgent 10-9 victory on Thursday night.
  
Berkman, the NL comeback player of the year, was 3 for 4 and scored three runs, helping to add another improbable chapter to the wild-card Cardinals' October story.
  
La Russa moved Berkman to fourth in the order because he sensed Holliday was pressing to produce.
  
Holliday has no RBIs in the series, and he made two critical mistakes in Game 6.
  
First, he dropped a shallow pop fly by Nelson Cruz to start the fourth, colliding with shortstop Rafael Furcal right after the ball popped free. Perhaps more damaging, the Cardinals had the bases loaded in the sixth when he was picked off third with a strong throw from catcher Mike Napoli combined with a strong defensive play at third by Beltre, who blocked Holliday from the bag with his foot.
  
Holliday injured his right hand in a different spot on the play, and was removed before the seventh with a bruised right pinkie. He was hampered down the stretch in the regular season and at the start of the playoffs by an inflamed tendon on his right middle finger.

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